First set back…

Midway through last year’s Dunwich Dynamo I had my chain blow apart, fumbling in the dark I managed to put the chain back together with the (less than ideal) chain splitter on my Lezyne mini-tool. Covered in chain oil, but suffused with a combination of relief and self satisfaction at having been able to get back on my way I ignored the fact that I’d significantly shortened my chain.

Feeling weary, it was the middle of the night, I, as I hit a steeper than anticipated hill, made a clumsy gear change, sticking the chain onto the largest rear cog, without shifting from the big ring on the front. This, combined with my shortened chain, drove my rear mech into my rear wheel, mashing my mech and wrecking my mech hanger. On the night, wielding the aforementioned Lezyne mini-tool chain splitter I removed the wrecked rear mech and managed to jury rig my chain on a near hopeless magic gear of, from memory, 36/13. Now truly caked in chain oil I gingerly limped to the nearest train station to ignobly wait for the first train the following morning. Not a vintage Dynamo.

While I ordered a new mech hanger soon after, since then I’ve been riding my touring and commuting bikes, so hadn’t got round to repairing the Synapse. With this year’s Dynamo next week, I decided this weekend I’d better get round to fixing the Synapse. It soon became apparent that as well as bending the mech hanger I’d managed to bend the dropout it bolts to. Trying to bend this, with a G-clamp, sufficiently into shape that I could attach the new mech hanger, I managed to snap the damn thing. In doing so I have, I think, written off the Synapse. So I’m going to need a new road bike. Like I say a bit of a set back.

Not sure I’ll manage it in time for next weekend’s Dynamo, but I think I’m going to opt for Genesis’s new disc equipped Equilibrium. Everyone I know who’s ridden one says the Equilibrium is a hoot to ride and I want to try out a road bike with disc brakes. The only downside I can see is that apparently the standard build Equilibrium disc is a bit heavy and comes with Shimano shifters – I prefer Sram. Checking out Genesis’s website the Equilibrium Disc’s frame isn’t that heavy, so the weight must be down to the build. So  I’m debating whether to buy the complete bike (which I might be able to do in time for next weekend) and then upgrade/lighten it by changing the wheels and a few other choice bits, or to buy a frame and build it up from scratch, which I definitely won’t be able to get ready in time for next weekend’s Dynamo.

On the upside my Milltag Dynamo jersey came through and this year’s design is just the nuts, the illustrations on Milltag’s website just don’t do the design justice. I’ll post some pictures as soon as I get the chance to take some and will keep you posted on bike developments.

Time to get serious.

Rapha and Ambitious about Autism held an information evening about the ride last Tuesday evening. It was a little sobering. It’s the first time they revealed to us, the riders, the intended route.

It’s approximately 210 miles, which is broadly what I’d expected, but they also revealed that the serious climbing, something like 2000 metres of it, is in the first 100km. This wasn’t a surprise, but was, like I say, a sobering thought. So strategically speaking the options now seem to be to either get stuck into some serious hill training around Dorking and Box Hill, or negotiate an alternate start from Nottingham. Hmmm, not quite sure I’ll be able to sell the latter to Simon Mottram, so it’ll be off to Dorking this weekend.

I’m also be riding the Dunwich Dynamo in a fortnight’s time, though I’ll be trying for a rather more ambitious finishing time than usual. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

I’ve also set up my fundraising page, you can find it at; http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/isthiswise .

7th September 2014 is the day!

I’ve bitten the bullet and signed up for Rapha’s Manchester to London ride on the 07/09/14.

As there’s a distinct possibility that I’ll ride this at half the speed of the rest of the field, I’m setting myself a fundraising target of £1500, double the minimum Rapha have asked participants to raise. The ride is in aid of Ambitious about Autism, I’ll post more information about them in a later post, but their website is http://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk .

I’ve set up a twitter feed I’ll be tweeting to under the #tag @isthiswise and will be setting up a Justgiving or a Virginmoneygiving fundraising page in the next couple of weeks. It looks like Virgin Money take 2% less than Justgiving, other than Virgin being cheaper has anyone got any advice as to which one might be better than the other?

3rd time lucky?

In 2007 I participated in a fundraising 24 hour relay ride from London to Lands End. This is the third time since then that I’ve planned some kind of riding challenge and to blog about the preparation and training for it. My first attempt was thwarted by a diabetes scare, the second by a slipped disc, fingers crossed it’ll be third time lucky.